90th Reunion Sparks: Final Banquet

12.22.2023 By CC4G
90th Reunion Sparks: Final Banquet

Many Have Passed this Way Before…

By Camme Smith McEllhiney

Perhaps you are lucky enough to remember a Final Banquet from your years at Clearwater.  They happened like clockwork on the last Tuesday of the summer – an evening dressed in white, the specially crafted toasts written for the occasion, and dining on items from a menu put together by the Banquet Committee.  Maybe you even remember the intricate centerpieces and favors dreamed up by the committee and constructed by campers with the help (often more than a little) of Don, Kevin, Bill, or Jared? Is it possible that your memory goes straight to the scent of the pine boughs that hung from the rafters of Mains’l?


At this year’s 90th reunion we worked to relive the special memories of Final Banquet by recreating our own.  Thanks to the vision of the Danielle Vidinich Welch, Mains’l was transformed into a beautiful room where historic photos of camp adorned with cedar boughs hung from the rafters.


Candlelit faces of former campers and counselors sang songs, feasted on standard banquet favorites, and listened to the beautiful words shared by those who had been selected to give the toast for this special occasion.

The theme for this year’s reunion banquet was

Many have passed this way before, in years to come there will be many more.

A fitting tribute to looking back at the last 90 years of Clearwater and preparing for the next. Even more so having Kathryn Norris Kirt, one of the counselors on the 1996 Canadian that wrote the song, “I Stood on the Edge” which persists as a camp favorite, there to perform the song.

We were also honored to have those who accepted the task of giving this year’s toasts:

Many Have Passed This Way Before, In Years to Come There Will Be Many More by Sue Ferguson

It’s A Song of Joy I Sing Today by Michaela Murphy

I Stood on the Edge to See What I Could See by Margaux Boles

Lake and Sky and Land All Three Were Whispering and Beckoning Come to Me by Steph Schlect

The words spoken by all four women were a true testament to a shared love of a camp that has meant so much to all of us – and the future generations that follow.

This is the seventh and final entry in a series of Reunion Sparks to share memories from our 90th Reunion. Read more sparks linked below.


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